Grapefruit Habanero Margarita Recipe (Quick + Easy!)

This Grapefruit Habanero Margarita recipe is perfect for sipping on summer days! Made with just 5-ingredients!

Can’t get enough margarita recipes? Try my Hibiscus Margarita, Grilled Pineapple Margarita, and Italian Margarita too!

It seems really easy to come up with a good reason to have a cocktail, right?

  • It’s 5 o’clock
  • It’s sunny outside
  • It’s the weekend (cheers to the freakin’ weekend)
  • The season premiere of Real Housewives is on
  • Etc., etc., etc.

I’m going to give you a few more reason to delight in this particular cocktail. It’s super easy to make, it’s spicy and it’s totally refreshing!

It’s a Spicy Grapefruit Margarita.

Two habanero margaritas on counter.

This spicy margarita recipe skips the time consuming step of infusing the tequila with habanero. Instead, all of the heat comes from a delicious simple syrup that comes together easily in just 10 minutes.

To make the spicy margaritas, just add a bit of it to a cocktail shaker along with the tequila, grapefruit juice and a splash of triple sec. Rim your glass with some salt (I LOVE using these easy to make citrus salts), pour out your concoction, top it with some extra ice and you are good to go!

No fancy ingredients, no time consuming steps, no excuses NOT to make this delicious Habanero Margarita.

Ingredients Needed

How to Make It

  • Run a lime wedge along the lip of your glass and dip in salt to cover the rim.
  • Combine the tequila, grapefruit juice, triple sec and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake to combine and strain into a salted margarita glass.
  • Add ice cubes and serve.
Grapefruit margaritas on counter with plate of salt and shaker.

Recipe Tips

  • The finished habanero simple syrup will keep, refrigerated, for about 2 weeks. Try using it in any cocktail that calls for simple syrup, or add it to lemonade.
  • You can control the heat of the simple syrup by letting the habanero steep for a longer or shorter period of time before straining it. Just give it a taste and adjust to your personal preference.
  • Want no spice at all? Just make the simple syrup without steeping the pepper in it.
  • You can also swap out the habanero for jalapeno or serrano pepper.

What’s the difference between a Paloma and a Grapefruit Margarita?

  • A grapefruit margarita is normally sweetened with a bit of triple sec, like a traditional margarita. A paloma is made with grapefruit juice, tequila and a bit of soda water to give it some fizz. Check out my paloma cocktail recipe too!
Overhead shot of prepared margarita.

More Margarita Recipes

Did you try this habanero tequila cocktail?

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Overhead shot of prepared margarita.

Grapefruit Habanero Margarita Recipe

This Grapefruit Habanero Margarita is the perfect spicy cocktail for sipping on summer days!
5 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 1 cocktail


Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 habanero (sliced)


  • 2 ounces tequila
  • 2 ounces ruby red grapefruit juice
  • 1 ounce cointreau (or triple sec)
  • 1 ounce spicy simple syrup
  • Salt (for rimming the glasses (I like to use citrus salts))
  • Lime wedges (for rimming the glasses)


Simple Syrup

  • In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Heat over high heat, stirring so that the sugar dissolves into the water. The mixture will go from milky white to clear. At this point, add the sliced habanero.
  • Allow the mixture to come to a rapid boil, and then immediately turn the heat down so it just simmers. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, and then remove from the heat. The syrup will reduce and thicken slightly, and will take on a slightly orange tint.
  • Allow the syrup to cool (about 30 minutes). Remove the pepper pieces and any stray floating seeds, and discard them.


  • Run a lime wedge along the lip of your glass and dip in salt to cover the rim. Combine the tequila, grapefruit juice, triple sec and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine and strain into a salted margarita glass. Add ice cubes and serve.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Sodium: 20mg | Potassium: 91mg | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin C: 15.3mg | Iron: 1.2mg

This recipe was originally published in 2015. It was updated in 2021 to add new photographs, and again in 2023 to add new information. The habanero drink recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

24 thoughts on “Grapefruit Habanero Margarita Recipe (Quick + Easy!)”

  1. I love grapefruit and I’m a huge magarita fan, so I can’t imagine a better summer drink:) Now, if only I would finally buy those citrus salts – I could finally make a fabulous margarita at home instead of just ordering them every time I go out for drinks.

  2. Hiii….!!

    This is Neeraj from F and B Stories. First of all, I would like to thank you for sharing such a delicious recepie, The habanero and grapefruit make a great combination for hot summer, and They are just amazing, delicious, and yumm….!!

    it looks soo simple but it was superb…..

    keep sharing
    cheers 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    nice margarita, grapefruit is too often ignored, and I have some grapefruit juice in my refrigerator, might have to test these as a brunch component, thank you!


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